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Money Smart - A Financial Education Program

Spotlight On…Youth

Organization: Albany State University

Main Office: Albany, GA

Albany State University (ASU) facilitates the delivery of Money Smart to first-time homeowners and in support of micro-enterprises through its Regional Center for Entrepreneurship, Business and Workforce Development. It also utilizes Money Smart for Young Adults as a Continuing Education Community Outreach course, and is introducing the curriculum to local public high schools in Albany, Georgia.

ASU has trained over 120 staff and other partners to deliver the curriculum. After completing the Money Smart training for First Time Homebuyers, ten families purchased their first home. ASU also provided technical assistance that led to the creation of five new small businesses inside its incubator, in addition to four other businesses created outside the incubator partnership.

Organization: Campus Federal Credit Union

Main Office: Baton Rouge, LA

Campus Federal Credit Union is an affiliate of Louisiana State University (LSU) and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Campus Federal prides itself on maintaining strong ties to its community. Over the past several years, Campus Federal has used the Money Smart curriculum to educate both its employees and students. Every semester, LSU requires that its new incoming freshman students and their parents (when available) attend an hour–long financial education session that covers budgeting, saving and the proper management of credit cards. Campus Federal also invites area high school seniors to their branches for financial education workshops. Financial education courses are offered at all LSU Campuses in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Eunice, New Orleans, and in Shreveport.

Organization: Monroe Bank & Trust

Main Office: Southeast, MI

Monroe Bank & Trust?s primary service area is in Southeast Michigan. To encourage bank employees to serve their local communities, Monroe Bank & Trust established Employees Now Linked in Service Together (ENLIST), a bank-sponsored volunteer organization that rewards employees with additional time-off for participation. For every 25 hours employees volunteer for bank-approved projects in the community, they receive one vacation day up to a maximum of five days per year. As an extension of ENLIST, Monroe Bank & Trust has developed MBTeach, a financial literacy program that provides similar incentives for bank employees to volunteer. Designed as a formalized approach to the bank?s existing educational outreach programs, bank employees participating in MBTeach deliver seminars based on the FDIC Money Smart curriculum, including to faith-based organizations, service agencies, and high schools in low- to moderate- income census tracts as well as any other organization requesting assistance. Topics expand upon those covered in previously offered seminars, such as basic banking, mortgages, and first-time home purchases.

Organization: New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education

Main Office: Trenton, NJ

The New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE) consists of about 100 representatives of government agencies, schools, businesses and non-profit organizations that provides financial education and related services. NJCFE developed and implemented Financial Health Day, a model whereby classroom instruction is reinforced with reality based learning. With a grant from Members United Federal Credit Union, Financial Health Days have been carried out throughout New Jersey regions. For example at Met East High School, students spend their senior year learning the basics of handling their finances with help from their teachers and the Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum. The lessons, however, do not stop in the classroom. To further prepare students to enter the real world of money, students have an opportunity to apply what they learn in a financial simulation called ?On My Own.? Students are assigned an income, family size and credit score, and then visit 10 different simulation stations making financial decisions pertaining to areas such as housing, transportation, and health care, based upon the assigned characteristics. Met East teachers and volunteers serve as simulation consultants helping students make informed decisions. At the end of the simulation, students can open checking accounts with Wachovia Bank.

Organization: International Bancshares Corporation

Main Office: Laredo, TX

International Bancshares Corporation (IBC) is a $12.4 billion multi-bank holding company based in Laredo, Texas with over 200 branches throughout Texas and Oklahoma. IBC works closely with the Laredo Independent School District (ISD) to facilitate the delivery of financial education. For example, in 2009, IBC taught a child-friendly lesson, Money Buzz, on personal finance and savings. In recognition of the 2009 Teach Children to Save Day, several IBC employees hosted a one-hour interactive lesson to teach children about money. IBC has also formed a partnership with Victoria College in Victoria, TX to teach Money Smart for Young Adults to their students. To date, IBC employees have taught 432 students the How to Pay for College and Cars module. IBC has a goal of reaching more than 1,000 youths throughout Texas and Oklahoma. In addition to providing financial education, IBC connects students with other community resources.

Organization: Summer HEAT (Help Employ Area Teens)

Main Office: Trenton, NJ

The Summer HEAT program was developed as part of New Jersey?s Public Safety Plan (PSP), which aims to reduce youth delinquency, gang involvement, and gun violence in New Jersey?s cities through partnerships between local government and the community to reduce the impact of risk factors on youth. The HEAT program helps disadvantaged youth gain positive employment experiences. When New Jersey?s Summer HEAT Program was created, New Jersey Youth Corps recommended that Money Smart be incorporated into the initial training phase for all participants. The idea was adopted, and Money Smart for Young Adults is now part of the orientation for all Summer HEAT participants that must be completed prior to job placement.

As a compliment to New Jersey?s Summer HEAT Program, New Jersey Youth Corps created a Summer Youth Corps Program to help out-of-school youth ages 16-25 gain positive work experience. Due to the success of the Money Smart Training Program with regular Youth Corps members, Money Smart has been incorporated into this summer employment program as a significant component of the life skills training program, and the curriculum is offered at all 12 of its program sites throughout New Jersey. One site enhanced its financial literacy component by partnering with Wachovia Bank. Bank staff, meet with HEAT participants on an ongoing basis to share information on banking and discuss how to open an account.

Organization: International Bancshares Corporation

Main Office: Laredo, TX

International Bancshares Corporation (IBC) is an $11.7 billion multi-bank holding company based in Laredo, Texas with over 200 branches throughout Texas and Oklahoma. IBC works closely with the Laredo Independent School District (ISD) to facilitate the delivery of financial education. IBC uses Money Smart in elementary schools. In addition, IBC employees create Micro-Communities, such as in HJM Elementary School in Port Lavaca, Texas. Called Shark Town after the school mascot, the community includes multiple actual businesses from Port Lavaca including an IBC bank. Students apply for jobs, interview and receive notice in the mail if they are hired for a position. The businesses provide training of the student ?employees,? badges, and uniforms. Students are paid in sand dollars for their work as well as for attendance, good grades and good conduct. Money Smart modules are used to help students learn to manage the money they earn in micro time.

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